Twenty-three suspected cultists have been arrested by the police in Edo State.
The spokesman of the police command in the state, Superintendent Bello Kontongs, who confirmed this said the arrest took place on Saturday ahead of a planned procession to celebrate one of their leaders’ birthday.
Kontongs explained that the command had set out to investigate the situation after it received information from a member of the public that some young men, armed and dressed in white and black attires were seen gathered around Sapele road in Benin City the Edo State capital.
According to him, on sighting the police, the young men opened fire and destroyed vehicles around the scene.
The Edo State Government has warned owners of event centres, eateries, restaurants, pubs, shopping malls and other places hosting social events in the state against violating the state’s COVID-19 prevention protocols.
In a statement signed on Saturday by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., the government said event centres or business premises that violate regulations on social gatherings will be shut and owners or operators would be prosecuted at designated mobile courts.
Ogie noted that the state COVID-19 compliance team have been mandated to ensure strict enforcement of the directives at the weekend, starting from Friday, February 19, 2021, with instructions to ensure full compliance with the protocols.
“The Edo State Government hereby warns all event centres, eateries, restaurants, pubs, shopping malls and all centres hosting social events, that anyone who violates the state’s coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention protocols in the course of carrying out their businesses will be made to face consequences prescribed by the laws of the state,” he said.
He added that all facilities hosting events at the weekend must be equipped with handwashing equipment, enforce compulsory and proper use of facemasks and ensure social distancing by attendants.
“Worship centres are also enjoined to ensure that their services are held in compliance with the protocols, so as to protect their members from the disease”.
According to him, the measure, “is in line with the government’s resolve to halt the spread of the disease and protect Edo citizens from the pandemic.
“Government warns that any event centre or business premises that violates regulations on social gatherings will be shut and owners or operators would be prosecuted at designated mobile courts.”
“We reiterate the need for the general public to adhere to the state’s COVID-19 protocols in order to rid this dreaded virus from our state.”
Edo State has recorded 17 new cases and one more death from coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total number of deaths in the second wave of the pandemic to 41.
The State COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, disclosed this during a virtual meeting of the State COVID-19 Taskforce, chaired by the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
He noted that the state also recorded 25 new recoveries and three more health workers’ infections, bringing to 769, the total number of health workers that have been infected in the state since the outbreak of the virus.
Obi noted, “Edo State, in the last 24 hours, recorded 17 new cases of COVID-19, 25 recoveries, and one more death, with 845 active cases that are currently being managed at various treatment and isolation centres in the state.
“With the new figures, we now have a total of 1664 confirmed cases, 41 deaths, and 780 recoveries since December 1, 2020, when the state started tracking the second wave of the virus.”
Decrying the alarming rise in the number of health workers infection, the Incident Manager stated, “Edo State within the same timeframe, recorded three more health workers infection, raising the total number of infections to 769 since the outbreak of the virus. While we recorded 381 health workers infections in the first wave, the number of infections for health workers in the second wave has climbed to 388.”
Obi, who charged residents to ensure compliance with the state’s disease prevention protocols to remain safe and healthy, urged citizens with any COVID-19 symptoms to contact the Edo Emergency Operation Centre on this toll-free number: 08003625000 for assistance.
Edo State has recorded 59 new cases and 32 more recoveries from coronavirus (COVID-19), as the government ramps up efforts to contain the second wave of the pandemic across all communities in the state.
The State COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, disclosed this on Tuesday during a virtual meeting of the State COVID-19 Taskforce, chaired by the state governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
The Incident Manager also reiterated the need for residents to be cautious and observe all safety and health protocols against the spread of COVID-19, amid a daily rise in the number of confirmed cases in the state.
Obi noted, “Edo State, in the last 24 hours, recorded 59 new cases of coronavirus, 32 recoveries with 862 active cases who are currently receiving treatment at various isolation and treatment centres in the state.”
Urging citizens to take responsibility to limit the spread of the virus and remain healthy, the Incident Manager noted that the second wave of COVID-19 has been very challenging, as all indices including case positivity and death rates have been significantly higher when compared with the first wave.
While reaffirming the government’s commitment to containing the pandemic and protecting the Edo people, Obi charged residents with any COVID-19 symptoms to contact the Edo Emergency Operation Centre on this toll-free number: 08003625000 for assistance.
The Edo State Government has directed secondary schools in three local government areas of the state to run two shifts to ensure strict adherence to the state’s guidelines to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Stella-Maris Imasuen, in a statement, noted that the directive was in line with the earlier announcement by the Edo State Government on the resumption of schools on Monday, February 1, 2021.
According to her, the local governments are students’ densely populated areas including Oredo, Ikpoba Okha, and Egor LGAs.
Imasuen disclosed that for the three LGAs, Junior Secondary School students are to resume 8am in the morning, while Senior Secondary School students will resume by 12:30pm.
The statement reads: “In line with the earlier announcement by the Edo State Government on the resumption of schools on Monday February 1, 2021, the government hereby announces that secondary schools in Oredo, Ikpoba Okha and Egor Local Government Areas (LGAs) are to run two shifts.
“Junior Secondary School students are to resume 8am in the morning while Senior Secondary School students will resume by 12:30pm.
“The school authorities are mandated to ensure strict adherence to the state’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prevention protocols.”
Edo is one of the states worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with 3,762 confirmed cases of Friday evening.
The Edo State COVID-19 response team has announced that schools in the state will now resume on February 1.
The permanent secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health disclosed this during a chat with journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The minister noted that Federal schools in the state that have resumed will be subjected to compulsory testing before being allowed to continue.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 response team also raised concerns over false information being provided by some residents during testing, saying it has made it difficult to reach infected persons and on time.
The lawyer for Godwin Obaseki on Wednesday tendered the original copies of the Bachelor of Arts degree in classical studies, issued to him (Obaseki) by the University of Ibadan in 1979, before the Edo governorship election petition tribunal.
Upon opening his defence, in the petition filed by Tracy Ebun Agol against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and the governor, Obaseki’s counsel, Ken Mozia (SAN), called a subpoenaed witness, one Mr. Abayomi Samuel Ajayi, the Deputy Registrar, legal, of the University of Ibadan, who confirmed that he had testified about the original certificate, had come in contact with it and could identify it.
The original certificate was subsequently tendered and admitted in evidence without any objection from the other respondents.
The counsel for the petitioner, however, objected to its admissibility reserving reasons till the final written address.
Also admitted in evidence was a certified copy of the judgement delivered by the Federal High Court, Abuja in suit fhc/b/cs/74/2020 delivered on January 9.
The witness also produced other documents; including Godwin Obaseki’s application for admission, matriculation oath, congregation for admission where third respondent’s name appeared on the admission list, documents evidencing his application for and collection of degree certificate and University of Ibadan entry requirements for the 1976-1977 academic year.
These documents were also tendered and admitted as evidence without objection from the other respondents while the counsel for the petitioner objected to their admissibility, reserving the grounds till the final address.
The hearing of the petitioner’s case in the Action Democratic Party and Emmanuel Iboi against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Osagie Ize-Iyamu, continued on Tuesday before the Edo governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Benin City the Edo State capital.
The tribunal admitted in evidence, an affidavit of correction of date of birth and statutory declaration of date of birth of Iboi Emmanuel both dated June 18, 2019.
Also in another petition which the Action Peoples Party (APP) filed against Godwin Obaseki, the PDP and INEC, the first respondent opened his defence, calling one witness through whom some documents were tendered and admitted in evidence.
The witness, a legal practitioner, Mr. Charity Iguodala Aiguobarueghian was also cross-examined by the counsel to the 2nd and 3rd respondents, as well as the counsel to the petitioner.
The petitioner’s counsel, Chikaosolu Ojukwu who had closed his case on January 15, also today sought via an exparte application, the tribunal’s assistance in securing the attendance of the chairman of INEC at the tribunal.
This application was not granted as the tribunal ruled that he had closed his case and did not apply to set that closing aside.
A petitioner, Mr. Okehielem Onyema has demanded a compensation of ₦25 million for alleged brutality and assault by the police at the Testament Police Station and State CIID in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Onyema alleged that he was assaulted after he refused to accept a sum of ₦200,000 from a man who allegedly raped his six-year-old daughter.
According to him, the alleged rapist was caught alongside a native doctor who was caught with fetish objects and drugs which the petitioner claimed was administered to his daughter.
He said he earlier went to the Testament Police Station to make a report and was attended to by one Inspector Juliana Anyanwu who told him to accept the sum from the suspect, after which he was assaulted for refusing the offer.
The petitioner said he took the case to the state police command where one Inspector Justina Idiata attended to him and also urged him to accept the money, once again he says that he turned the offer down and was beaten up for doing so, on the instruction of Inspector Idiata.
He said although the rape case is currently in an institutionalized court, his petition to the panel is as a result of the assault and brutality the police made him go through in the presence of the suspect.
“We have, in the last 24 hours, recorded eight new coronavirus cases and one new death,” Dr. Obi said. “240 samples were collected from the various screening and testing centres across the state.
“As of today, Thursday, January 14, 2021, we have 238 active cases of the virus in the state.
“Since the second wave of the deadly disease, Edo State has recorded 447 confirmed cases out of which 53 are health workers. The State has also recorded 202 recoveries and 12 deaths from the disease.”
He cautioned residents to observe all precautionary measures to guard against the spread of the infectious disease, including compulsory and proper use of face masks, regular handwashing with soap under running water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, observe physical distancing measures, and limit social events.
Dr. Obi urged residents with any COVID-19 symptoms to contact the Edo Emergency Operation Centre on the toll-free number 08003625000 for assistance or their nearest health facility.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed the alleged certificate forgery suit filed against the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed dismissed the suit filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a chieftain of the party, Williams Edobor, against the governor, in a judgement delivered on Saturday in the nation’s capital.
The APC and Edobor had filed the suit alleging that Governor Obaseki presented a forged certificate to seek re-election in the Edo State governorship election held on September 19, 2020.
According to the plaintiffs, the said document was purportedly issued by the University of Ibadan, while the governor presented same to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which conducted the poll.
In his judgement, Justice Mohammed held that the plaintiffs relied on the photocopied document presented by Governor Obaseki without getting in touch with the university to verify the authenticity of the said certificate.
He added that no iota of truth was brought before the court by the plaintiffs who alleged forgery, saying it was a criminal matter, but the claimants were unable to prove their case.
The judge noted that the Deputy Registrar (Legal) of the University of Ibadan had given evidence in the suit that the university duly issued the certificate to Governor Obaseki.
According to him, the governor was duly and properly admitted to study Classics which was later renamed Classical Studies in 1976 and graduated in 1979.
Justice Mohammed concluded that the plaintiffs failed to prove their allegations of forgery against Governor Obaseki and, thereby, dismissed the case.
He, however, did not award any cost against the plaintiffs.
Before the judgement was delivered, counsels to both parties in the matter had closed their cases after they presented witnesses and evidence to the court.
During proceedings on Thursday, lawyer to the Plaintiffs, Akin Olujimi, adopted his final written address.
He urged the court to affirm their position that the governor presented a forged certificate to the electoral umpire and was unfit to occupy the office.
This was, however, rejected by Governor Obaseki’s counsel, Ken Mozia, who asked the court to dismiss the suit over what he described as the plaintiff’s failure to prove their case.
A Dramatic Switch, Yet Same Result
Governor Obaseki contested and won the governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a bid to extend his stay in office by another four years.
Although he was elected into office for the first term on the APC platform, the governor later defected from the party after he was screened out from the party’s primary which saw Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu emerging as the APC flagbearer for the election.
This came in the middle of a lingered dispute between the governor and his predecessor and immediate past APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
After defecting from the APC, he got the PDP’s ticket and went ahead to defeat Ize-Iyamu for the second time to claim the governorship seat in what can be described as a dramatic switch of political parties.
Governor Obaseki had defeated Ize-Iyamu as the APC candidate in the 2016 governorship election while the latter was the PDP candidate.
Four years later, he secured 307,955 of the total votes, 84,336 more votes than Ize-Iyamu who got 223, 619 votes.
A petitioner, Mr Anthony Ogbevon has sought a compensation of N50 million and the release of his bus which according to him, was confiscated after being paraded for kidnapping and robbery even before investigation.
Mr Ogbevon was speaking on Friday before the Edo State Judicial Panel Of Inquiry for victims of SARS and related abuses, narrated how he was brutalised by the Nigeria Police following his refusal to help convey some alleged kidnappers with his bus to the state CID headquarters in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Thereafter, he was accused of being a kidnapper and then detained.
According to him, after his arrest in June, 2020, his vehicle which was confiscated at the time is still yet to be released to him.
The matter which had been heard earlier at the high court, exonerated him of all allegations put before him which led to his release. But beyond that, Ogbevon sought a compensation of N50 million for the unlawful arrest, detention and brutality he allegedly suffered.
The chairman of the panel, Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe rtd., therefore, appointed some members of the panel for a locus visitation of the matter and adjourned till January 19, 2021 for review.
Some members of the panel had earlier visited the locus of some other matters which had been heard in the past few days.